She made me what I am today, an ‘Ironman’!
Excuse me, did I say ‘Ironman’? My bad, I meant, ‘Ironing Man’. I’m an ‘ironing man’: shirts, pants, cloth napkins, aprons (not mine…yet), pillowcases, etc.
Dusting, yes, a critical skill. It’s tedious but you won’t find creepy bugs housekeeping along our crown molding and baseboard. As for the hardwoods, the Swiffer tool is my choice. Gripping it a certain way let’s you ‘slap shot’ those pesky ‘dust bunnies’ into a corner for easy gathering.
Both chores combine housecleaning and athleticism: the multiple reps of a weightlifter sliding a water filled iron back and forth, back and forth, back and forth and the steady, rhythmic gliding of a ballroom dancer sweeping across polished hardwood. My wristband monitor goes off the charts on cleaning day.
The best benefit, of course, is the ‘come hither’ look of appreciation in my wife’s approving eyes. But, alas, by the time I’ve ‘pressed’ my last pleat, ‘pushed up’ from bunny hunting under the bed or ‘power dragged’ the Hoover over the dog haired rug, I’m too tired to go anywhere, hither or not.
Meantime, the golf clubs have lost their shine, the gym membership is going unused and the resistance bands have dry rot. Nevertheless, I’m staying in shape with squats (toilet bowl cleaning), bends & reaches (dishwasher loading/unloading), heavy lifting (turning a queen mattress) and sprints (“hurry, the dog needs to go out”).
The genesis of these new found domestic skills can be traced back to something I did forty-eight years ago, I made a promise. Promises, vows, oaths, call them what you will, are important to our own notion of self-worth, when kept. They measure us for trustworthiness. They address our character and integrity.
Promises call for sacrifice and commitment. In my case, I didn’t commit to housecleaning but I did promise my everlasting support. LIFE changes, doesn’t it? Priorities get rearranged.
Yet, somehow, It’s worked out satisfactorily. I have well pressed handkerchiefs and there’s no stress of calling ahead for a tee time. Too tired to carry clubs, anyway.
I just need someone to show me how to fold a fitted sheet…
srbottch.com (July 2017)
To legions of men everywhere who help with the housework, whether you admit it or not, because you want or need to do it.